Introduction    Peru Top of Page
Ancient Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by the Spanish conquistadors in 1533. Peruvian independence was declared in 1821, and remaining Spanish forces defeated in 1824. After a dozen years of military rule, Peru returned to democratic leadership in 1980, but experienced economic problems and the growth of a violent insurgency. President Alberto FUJIMORI's election in 1990 ushered in a decade that saw a dramatic turnaround in the economy and significant progress in curtailing guerrilla activity. Nevertheless, the president's increasing reliance on authoritarian measures and an economic slump in the late 1990s generated mounting dissatisfaction with his regime, which led to his ouster in 2000. A caretaker government oversaw new elections in the spring of 2001, which ushered in Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique as the new head of government - Peru's first democratically elected president of Native American ethnicity. The presidential election of 2006 saw the return of Alan GARCIA Perez who, after a disappointing presidential term from 1985 to 1990, has overseen a robust macroeconomic performance.
   Geography    Peru Top of Page
Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador
Geographic coordinates:
10 00 S, 76 00 W
Map references:
South America
total: 1,285,220 sq km
water: 5,220 sq km
land: 1.28 million sq km total: 147,181 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Alaska
Land boundaries:
total: 5,536 km
border countries: Bolivia 900 km, Brazil 1,560 km, Chile 160 km, Colombia 1,496 km (est.), Ecuador 1,420 km
2,414 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200 NM
territorial sea: 200 NM
varies from tropical in east to dry desert in west; temperate to frigid in Andes.
western coastal plain (costa), high and rugged Andes in center (sierra), eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (selva)
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Nevado Huascaran 6,768 m
Natural resources:
copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash, hydropower, natural gas
Land use:
arable land: 2.85%
permanent crops: 0.38%
other: 96.77% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
11,950 sq km (1998 est.)
Total renewable water resources:
1,913 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 20.13 cu km/yr (9%/10%/82%)
per capita: 720 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, landslides, mild volcanic activity
Environment - current issues:
deforestation (some the result of illegal logging); overgrazing of the slopes of the costa and sierra leading to soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Lima; pollution of rivers and coastal waters from municipal and mining wastes
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note:
shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest navigable lake, with Bolivia; remote Lake McIntyre is the ultimate source of the Amazon River
   People    Peru Top of Page
29,546,963 (july 2009 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 34% (male 4,820,892; female 4,671,205)
15-64 years: 61.1% (male 8,598,328; female 8,492,830)
65 years and over: 4.9% (male 627,601; female 738,783) (2002 est.)
Median age:
total: 26.1 years
male: 25.8 years
female: 26.4 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.229% (2009 est.)
Birth rate:
19.38 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate:
6.16 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.95 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
urban population: 71% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 28.62 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 31.07 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 26.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.74 years
male: 68.88 years
female: 72.69 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.37 children born/woman (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.5% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
76,000 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
3,300 (2007 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: Yellow fever, malaria, and dengue fever (2009)
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)
noun: Peruvian(s)
adjective: Peruvian
Ethnic groups:
Amerindian 45%, mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 37%, white 15%, black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%
Roman Catholic 90%
Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.9%
male: 96.4%
female: 89.4% (2007 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2007)
Education expenditures:
2.5% of GDP (2006)
   Government    Peru Top of Page
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Peru
conventional short form: Peru
local long form: Republica del Peru
local short form: Peru conventional long form: Republic of Peru
Government type:
constitutional republic
name: Lima
geographic coordinates: 12 03 S, 77 03 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
24 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 constitutional province* (provincia constitucional); Amazonas, Ancash, Apurimac, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Callao*, Cusco, Huancavelica, Huanuco, Ica, Junin, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Loreto, Madre de Dios, Moquegua, Pasco, Piura, Puno, San Martin, Tacna, Tumbes, Ucayali
note: the 1979 constitution mandated the creation of regions (regiones, singular - region) to function eventually as autonomous economic and administrative entities; so far, 12 regions have been constituted from 23 of the 24 departments - Amazonas (from Loreto), Andres Avelino Caceres (from Huanuco, Pasco, Junin), Arequipa (from Arequipa), Chavin (from Ancash), Grau (from Tumbes, Piura), Inca (from Cusco, Madre de Dios, Apurimac), La Libertad (from La Libertad), Los Libertadores-Huari (from Ica, Ayacucho, Huancavelica), Mariategui (from Moquegua, Tacna, Puno), Nor Oriental del Maranon (from Lambayeque, Cajamarca, Amazonas), San Martin (from San Martin), Ucayali (from Ucayali); formation of another region has been delayed by the reluctance of the constitutional province of Callao to merge with the department of Lima; because of inadequate funding from the central government and organizational and political difficulties, the regions have yet to assume major responsibilities; the 1993 constitution retains the regions but limits their authority; the 1993 constitution also reaffirms the roles of departmental and municipal governments
28 July 1821 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 28 July (1821)
31 December 1993
Legal system:
based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Alan GARCIA Perez (since 28 July 2006); First Vice President Luis GIAMPIETRI Rojas (since 28 July 2006); Second Vice President Lourdes MENDOZA del Solar (since 28 July 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government.
head of government: President Alan GARCIA Perez (since 28 July 2006); First Vice President Luis GIAMPIETRI Rojas (since 28 July 2006); Second Vice President Lourdes MENDOZA del Solar (since 28 July 2006)
note:Prime Minister Yehude SIMON Munaro (since 14 October 2008) does not exercise executive power; this power is in the hands of the president
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections:president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a nonconsecutive reelection); presidential and congressional elections held 9 April 2006 with runoff election held 4 June 2006; next to be held in April 2011
election results: Alan GARCIA Perez elected president in runoff election; percent of vote - Alan GARCIA Perez 52.5%, Ollanta HUMALA Tasso 47.5%
Legislative branch:
unicameral Congress of the Republic of Peru or Congreso de la Republica del Peru (120 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections:last held 9 April 2006 (next to be held in April 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - UPP 21.2%, PAP 20.6%, UN 15.3%, AF 13.1%, FC 7.1%, PP 4.1%, RN 4.0%, other 14.6%; seats by party - UPP 45, PAP 36, UN 17, AF 13, FC 5, PP 2, RN 2
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (judges are appointed by the National Council of the Judiciary)
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance For Progress (Alianza Para El Progreso) [Cesar ACUNA Peralta]; Alliance For The Future (Alianza Por El Futuro) or AF (a coalition of pro-FUJIMORI parties including Cambio 90, Nueva Mayoria, and Si Cumple); Central Front (Frente Del Centro) or FC (a coalition of Accion Popular, Somos Peru, and Coordinadora Nacional de Independientes) [Victor Andres GARCIA Belaunde]; National Renovation Party (Partido Renovacion Nacional) [Rafael REY]; National Restoration Party (Restauracion Nacional) or RN [Humberto LAY Sun]; National Solidarity Party (Partido Solidaridad Nacional) or SN [Luis CASTANEDA Lossio]; Peru Possible (Peru Posible) or PP [Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique]; Peruvian Aprista Party (Partido Aprista Peruano) or PAP [Alan GARCIA Perez] (also referred to by its original name Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana or APRA); Peruvian Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista Peruano) or PNP [Ollanta HUMALA Tasso]; Popular Christian Party (Partido Popular Cristiano) or PPC [Lourdes FLORES Nano]; Union for Peru (Union por el Peru) or UPP [Aldo ESTRADA Choque]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
General Workers Confederation of Peru (Confederacion General de Trabajadores del Peru) or CGTP [Mario HUAMAN]; Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) or SL [Abimael GUZMAN Reynoso (imprisoned), Victor QUISPE Palomino (top leader at-large)] (leftist guerrilla group)
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission:Ambassador Luis VALDIVIESO Montano
chancery: 1700 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone:[1] (202) 833-9860 through 9869
FAX: [1] (202) 659-8124
consulate(s) general:Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paterson (New Jersey), San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission:Ambassador P. Michael MCKINLEY
embassy:Avenida La Encalada, Cuadra 17s/n, Surco, Lima 33
mailing address:P. O. Box 1995, Lima 1; American Embassy (Lima), APO AA 34031-5000
telephone:[51] (1) 434-3000
FAX:[51] (1) 618-2397
Flag description:
three equal, vertical bands of red (hoist side), white, and red with the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms features a shield bearing a vicuna, cinchona tree (the source of quinine), and a yellow cornucopia spilling out gold coins, all framed by a green wreath
   Economy    Peru Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Peru's economy reflects its varied geography - an arid coastal region, the Andes further inland, and tropical lands bordering Colombia and Brazil. Abundant mineral resources are found in the mountainous areas, and Peru's coastal waters provide excellent fishing grounds. The Peruvian economy grew by more than 4% per year during the period 2002-06, with a stable exchange rate and low inflation. Growth jumped to 9% per year in 2007 and 2008, driven by higher world prices for minerals and metals and the government's aggressive trade liberalization strategies. Peru's rapid expansion has helped to reduce the national poverty rate by about 15% since 2002, though underemployment and inflation remain high. Despite Peru's strong macroeconomic performance, overdependence on minerals and metals subjects the economy to fluctuations in world prices, and poor infrastructure precludes the spread of growth to Peru's non-coastal areas. Not all Peruvians therefore have shared in the benefits of growth. President GARCIA's pursuit of sound trade and macroeconomic policies has cost him political support since his election. Nevertheless, he remains committed to Peru's free-trade path. The United States and Peru completed negotiations on the implementation of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA), and the agreement entered into force February 1, 2009, opening the way to greater trade and investment between the two economies.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$238.9 billion (2008 est.)
$218.8 billion (2007)
$206.6 billion (2006)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$131.4 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
9.2% (2008 est.)
9% (2007 est.)
7.6% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$8,400 (2008 est.)
$7,800 (2007 est.)
$7,300 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 8.5%
industry: 21.2%
services: 70.3% (FY07 est.)
Labor force:
10.2 million
note: severe lack of skilled labor (2008 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 0.7%
industry: 23.8%
services: 75.5% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:
8.4% (2008 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.3%
highest 10%: 40.9% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
49.8 (2005)
revenues: $38.83 billion
expenditures: $35.5 billion (FY08)
Public debt:
24.1% of GDP{2008 est}
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6.7% (2008 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
6.5% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
24.1% (16 July 2008)
Stock of money:
$14.66 billion (31 Des 2007)
Stock of quasi money:
$19.95 billion (31 Des 2007)
Stock of domestic credit:
$17.88 billion (31 Des 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$57.23 billion (31 July 2008)
Agriculture - products:
asparagus, coffee, cocoa, cotton, sugarcane, rice, potatoes, corn, plantains, grapes, oranges, pineapples, guavas, bananas, apples, lemons, pears, coca, tomatoes, mango, barley, medicinal plants, palm oil, marigold, onion, wheat, dry beans; poultry, beef, dairy products; fish, guinea pigs
mining and refining of minerals; steel, metal fabrication; petroleum extraction and refining, natural gas; fishing and fish processing, textiles, clothing, food processing
Industrial production growth rate:
4.5% (FY08)
Electricity - production:
30.57 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - consumption:
28.97 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - exports:
0 million kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports:
0 million kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production:
110.800 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption:
170,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - exports:
27.390 bbl/day (2007)
Oil - imports:
109,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves:
930.000 bbl (1 January 2008 est.)
Natural gas - production:
3.4 cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
3.4 cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
334.7 cu m (1 January 2008 est.)
Current account balance:
-$3.631 million (2008 est.)
$33.27 million f.o.b.(2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
fish and fish products, gold, copper, zinc, crude petroleum and byproducts, lead, coffee, sugar, cotton,textiles,asparagus,potatoes.
Exports - partners:
US 19.5%, China 12.7%, Canada 7.6%, Japan 7.5%, Chile 5.9%, Switzerland 4.2%, Spain 4.1% (2007)
$29.08 billion f.o.b. (2008)
Imports - commodities:
petroleum and petroleum products, plastics, machinery, vehicles, iron and steel, wheat, paper
Imports - partners:
US 20.5%, China 10.8%, Brazil 9%, Ecuador 6.1%, Argentina 5.6%, Chile 5%, Colombia 4.8% (2007)
Reserve of foreign exchange and gold:
$31.79 billion {31 December 2008 est}
Debt - external:
$35.46 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$32.14 billion {2008 est. }
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$1.476 billion {2008 est. }
Exchange rates:
nuevo sol (PEN) per US dollar - 2.91 (2008 est.), 3.1731 (2007), 3.2742 (2006), 3.2958 (2005), 3.4132 (2004)
   Communications    Peru Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
2.673 million(2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
15.417 million (2007)
Telephone system:
general assessment:adequate for most requirements
domestic: fixed-line teledensity is only about 9 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity, spurred by competition among multiple providers, has increased to roughly 55 telephones per 100 persons; nationwide microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations
international: country code - 51; the South America-1 (SAM-1) and Pan American (PAN-AM) submarine cable systems provide links to parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, and US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 472, FM 198, shortwave 189 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
13 (plus 112 repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
271,745 (2008)
Internet users:
7,636 million (2007)
   Transportation    Peru Top of Page
202 (2008)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 56
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,04720
1,534 to 2,43715
914 to 1,523 m:11
under 914 m: 4 (2008)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 146
2,438 to 3,0472
1,534 to 2,43724
914 to 1,523 m:39
under 914 m: 81 (2008)
1 {2007}
extra heavy crude 533 km; gas 1,078 km; liquid petroleum gas 654 km; oil 1,018 km; refined products 15 km (2008)
total: 1,989 km
standard gauge: 1,726 km 1.435 m gauge
narrow gauge: 263 km 0.914m gauge(2006)
total: 78,829 km
paved: 11,351 km (includes 276 km of expressways )
unpaved: 67,478 km (2004)
8.808 km
note:8,600 km of navigable tributaries of Amazon system and 208 km of Lago Titicaca (2008)
Merchant marine:
total: 78,829 km
by type: cargo 3, chemical tanker 1,petroleum tanker 4
goreign-owned: 1 (Bahamas 1)
registered in other country17 (Belize 1 Panama 16 ){2008}
Port and terminals:
Callao, Iquitos, Matarani, Paita, Pucallpa, Yurimaguas; note - Iquitos, Pucallpa, and Yurimaguas are on the upper reaches of the Amazon and its tributaries
   Military    Peru Top of Page
Military branches:
Army of Peru (Ejercito Peruano), Navy of Peru (Marina de Guerra del Peru, MGP (includes naval air, naval infantry, and Coast Guard)), Air Force of Peru (Fuerza Aerea del Peru, FAP) (2008)
Military service age and obligation:
18-30 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; no conscription (2008)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 7,653,898
females age 16-49: 7,531,329 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 5,920,716
females age 16-49: 6,359,803
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 310,575
female: 300,838 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.5% of GDP (2006)
   Transnational Issues    Peru Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Chile and Ecuador rejected Peru's November 2005 unilateral legislation to shift the axis of their joint treaty-defined maritime boundaries along the parallels of latitude to equidistance lines which favor Peru; organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia have penetrated Peru's shared border; Peru rejects Bolivia's claim to restore maritime access through a sovereign corridor through Chile along the Peruvian border
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
60,000-150,000 (civil war from 1980-2000; most IDPs are indigenous peasants in Andean and Amazonian regions) (2007)
Illicit drugs:
until 1996 the world's largest coca leaf producer, Peru is now the world's second largest producer of coca leaf, though it lags far behind Colombia; cultivation of coca in Peru declined to 36,000 hectares in 2007; second largest producer of cocaine, estimated at 210 metric tons of potential pure cocaine in 2007; finished cocaine is shipped out from Pacific ports to the international drug market; increasing amounts of base and finished cocaine, however, are being moved to Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia for use in the Southern Cone or transshipment to Europe and Africa; increasing domestic drug consumption

This page was last updated on 14 May 2009


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